Have you been experiencing dry spells recently? Does it seem like your creativity is slowly deteriorating? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to reproduce previous successes? Are the results you’re producing desired results or more of a hit and miss? Do you feel tired all the time? frustrated? stuck? ineffective or even empty? If you find yourself in one or more of these situations–or any other closely related situation–then you my friend, are in a period of drought.
What exactly do I mean by a drought?
I’m talking about a period of dryness. A time when nothing substantial is happening. An interval devoid of excitement. Tiny moments that slowly add up to a rather large space in time when nothing tangible or profitable has been achieved. I’m referring to nothingness. I’m talking about a period of No-Flow; a period where nothing seems to flow through you. A time characterised by little, insignificant movements. Times of not good, not bad, just…nothing.
For those of you leaders who cultivate your creativity for different productive purposes, you most certainly understand what I’m talking about. My guess is that you’ve had periods when your creative juices just didn’t seem to flow as they normally would. Or maybe you’ve had periods characterised by disengagement or disconnection from the things you’d normally be happy doing.
When these situations arise, what do you do?
How do you get your drive back?
How do you carry on being productive?
My answer? Here it is:
Time-out is my answer to getting your energy/mojo/drive–or whatever else you choose to call it–back and I’ve written it 3 times to make sure you don’t miss it.
You need some time away, end of. Whether it be from the desk, the laptop, the tablet, the meeting room, the writing table, the brain storming sessions, the classroom, the baby cot, the kitchen, the pulpit, the lecture room, the laboratory, the theatre, etc., you need to take T-I-M-E – O-U-T! There is no getting round this one if you want to function well, retain your sanity and stay productive.
Your time-out should be a period to rest, refuel or reconnect; or maybe all three.
No one ever remains productive without taking out time to rest and be refreshed. The reason you’re irate, frustrated, experiencing a mental block or being a right ol’ pain in the back side is probably because you’ve not had any time-out recently.
When you notice that the things which used to give you joy and cause you to experience fulfillment now make you angry or frustrate you; it’s probably time for a time-out. Your creative mind will only function well when the principle of time-out and common sense is applied.
As the year draws to a close, evaluate yourself and figure out if you’re due a time-out. Maybe you need a rest; then schedule some time to do so and arrange for someone to cover your duties.
Maybe you need to refuel; then find people who are achieving the kind of things you want to achieve and receive valuable knowledge from them.
Maybe you need to reconnect; then dig deep and stir up that passion that motivated you to land a role as CEO, manager, team leader, mother, father, teacher, entrepreneur, doctor, author, accountant, minister, coach, mentor, consultant, artist, chef, etc.
If you need to join a network, association or support group to help you refuel and reconnect; then do so. If you need to take a course, be mentored or coached; then please do so.
Don’t let your self go to waste by becoming unproductive. Don’t buy your own narrow narrative of being stale.
The problem is not with your passion, your purpose or even you per se; the problem is that you’re drained.
And here’s the solution: take T-I-M-E O-U-T.
Lead right and Live light;